Musings of an Italian-American Catholic wife, mother, and writer

Musings of an Italian-American Catholic wife, mother, and writer

Monday, June 13, 2016

Cruising with Royal Caribbean: a review in quick takes

My parents have been on 17 cruises, all with Royal Caribbean International. When they booked their 18th cruise in celebration of both my mother's 70th birthday and my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, they brought along the entire family -- all 18 of us.


A four day cruise to the Bahamas and CocoCay.


Whoa. Yeah, I know.


Last Friday, after almost a year in the planning, all 18 of us met at Port Canaveral in Florida, boarded Majesty of the Seas, and set sail into what would be a marvelous adventure. During the day everyone scurried about -- pool, casino, arcade, basketball court, art auction -- and in the evening we met in the formal dining room and had dinner together. There was so much to do, and we made every moment count.


And now, our cruise in quick takes ...




~1~ What's for dinner?
(And lunch, and breakfast, and afternoon snack, and midnight snack ...)


For me, nothing was more relaxing than having each and every meal taken care of. And while I enjoyed the lunch buffet, I especially loved having breakfast and dinner in the formal dining room complete with the crisp, white table linens, attentive servers, and printed menus. Oh, the selections! With encouragement from my parents (who, after all, are expert cruisers) sometimes we ordered TWO appetizers, and I'm pretty sure the older boys ordered TWO entrees every single night. And if the server noticed that someone (Timothy) didn't like something (the Tiger Shrimp), she whisked it away and brought a replacement (hamburger sliders). And then there were the dinner rolls. I think our two tables developed a reputation for the amount of rolls we consumed ...



I'm not even going to tell you what a production it was to get this photo taken.
Teens complained, kids ran around, and the photographer was
overwhelmed, all while Nonna was insisting that we take this photo "or else!"
 It's not perfect, but it's family. You know?


~2~ Nassau was hot.


I'm talking hot as in ... steamy. And by steamy I mean humid. And by humid I mean we walked around for an hour, purchased a slushy, and then returned to the ship where we promptly jumped in the pool. And because most everyone else was still in town, we had both the pool AND the ice cream machine to ourselves. That's what you call a win-win situation.


This was before exploring Nassau;
afterwards, I was wilting.

Cooling off with a frozen margarita after exploring Nassau.

~3~ Cabin Steward Magic


I don't know how it works, but somehow our cabin steward ALWAYS knew when we left our cabin because every time we came back POOF! everything was neat and clean. Our beds were made in the morning, the covers were turned down in the evening, and the cutest towel animals were posed on our pillows. At one point Joe started to complain about him coming in so often, and I told him to hush. The cabin steward was doing everything I do on a daily basis (well, not the towel animals) and I liked being pampered.


There was also a bunny, a sting ray, and a
monkey hanging from the window.


~4~ Castaway on CocoCay


This was my favorite part of the cruise; I mean, a PRIVATE island with white sand, crystal water, beaches, a barbecue feast, and beach chairs you could drag down to the water to sit and watch the sting rays. What more could you ask for? It was heavenly.




The entire island was ours to explore.


The views were breathtaking.
The water was crystal clear.
Island tranquility.


Our ship as seen from CocoCay.



~5~ Up, up and away over CocoCay


There were several excursions offered on Coco Cay. Some members of our family simply wanted to swim and soak up the sun, others went jet skiing, but Timothy and I were the ONLY ones in the family who went parasailing. We were nervous, maybe even more than a little scared, but what an adventure it was! An hour later my hands were still shaking because of the adrenaline rush.


(On a side note: I did not bring my camera on the boat, but a nice man offered to take some photos which he later texted to me. He also took a video, but I'm not posting it because I am laughing maniacally and sound positively deranged.)


Timothy and me.
Four hundred feet over the Caribbean Sea.
There are no words.


~6~ A lounge by any other name ...


Every evening, if you entered the 7th floor lounge, walked past the live band and around the dance floor, then peeked into the very far corner ... you would find these guys having a Pokémon Tournament.


Pokémon Tournament


~7~ Hodgepodge thoughts


-While this was a first cruise for many in our family, it was actually our second. Joe and I took our first cruise 25 years ago (10 days with Royal Caribbean) for our honeymoon!


-This was the first time our oldest son could order alcoholic beverages. As a parent, watching your son order a beer is ... I don't know ... yikes! It was also the first time our two older sons tried their luck in a casino. Again ... yikes.


-I know the suspense is building ... did she, or did she not buy a watch? Despite being tempted at every turn, alas, I did NOT buy a watch. I did buy one for my mom, though.


-Back to Coco Cay, if only to share a corny joke as told by a comedian we heard our first night on board:


"I hear we're going to CocoCay and I don't even know what that is; to me, it sounds like a waitress from Atlanta who says, 'We don't have Pepsi. Coke okay?'"


You laughed, didn't you?


I laughed at that stupid joke the entire cruise.


~8~ And finally ... hodgepodge photos.




Beach bag: Charming Charlie
Hat: Target
I used both a lot.


Joe, taking in the sights.


Boys ... they clean up nicely.


The 80's Dance Party was so much fun!


One of the lifeboats for Majesty of the Seas.


This is what it looks like to drive home after a wonderful
Royal Caribbean cruise filled with great entertainment,
fine dining, and nonstop fun.


Thanks Nonna and Nonno (and Royal Carribean's Majesty of the Seas) for a wonderful
vacation. We created memories that will last forever!

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